The Cost of Rudeness


They say that good manners cost nothing, so how much does bad manners, or specifically rudeness cost?

Well today I discovered that rudeness actually costs just 37 cents or in English money, 30 pence.

I was in my local supermarket this afternoon and stood behind an English family who had a trolley bulging with provisions; you can tell the people who have just arrived for a self-catering break just by looking at the volume of shopping they buy including all those store cupboard things like boxes of salt, pepper, ketchup and the multi-packs of bottled beer and wine – you can spot them a mile off.

Anyway, they had their shopping scanned and the English woman handed the girl on the till a €100 note. The husband was packing the shopping when the Italian girl asked the customer if she had thirty-seven cents, confusion spread over the woman’s face and she said, “What?”

“Do you have thirty-seven cents, please?” the girl on the till asked.

“What did she say?” the woman asked her husband, who just shrugged his shoulders. The girl on till asked again if she had the correct change and the English woman replied saying, “I don’t know what you are saying, can you speak English. Don’t you speak any English?”

“No, she doesn’t speak English,” I said interrupting, “they have very little small change so she’s asking if you have the thirty-seven cents.” As she asked her husband for the small change I said to the girl on till, “I’m sorry, she’s a very rude English woman.” I was surprised to hear the woman say to her husband; referring to me, “I think he’s explaining that we don’t understand the language.”

I nod and smile as she hands the girl the thirty-seven cents, she then says to me, “We’re here on holiday, for ten days.”

I respond, saying, “With your attitude, thank goodness it’s just a short stay.”

Exit one red-faced harridan.

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I don’t have a rudeness photo so here’s a snap of my dogs Olive and Alf finding the gravel outside very interesting.

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